By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Dec. 4, 2013 — The high school basketball season across Kentucky tipped off Monday night and West Carter would take the short trip to Morehead to face 16th Region runner-up Rowan County.
The Vikings however, would send the Comets packing as Rowan defeated West 73-43.
Rowan County (1-0) would use an 18-0 run in the span of four minutes between the first and second quarter to distance themselves from the Comets after West led 13-12 midway through the opening period.
West Carter coach Jeremy Webb’s team had to play catch-up for most of the night.
“They’re a very good basketball team and we got ourselves in a hole,” Webb said. “You can’t allow a team to go on an (18-0) run before we become mentally tough on the offensive end whether it’s getting a basket or to the free-throw line to stop the run.”
Webb added: “It was very discouraging but it’s a young team with some seniors but our other guys don’t have a great deal of experience. We’re going to have to step up and eliminate those runs against teams.”
The Vikings shot 60 percent (15-for-25) from the field and 7-for-10 from three-point range in the first half. Vikings junior Ryne Callahan led all scorers with 19 points, including 13 in the first quarter. Justin Graham flirted with a triple-double, scoring 12 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists.
The Comets (0-1) were paced by senior Jacob Layne’s 14 points and seven rebounds. Junior Ben Jordan almost had a double-double with 10 points and nine boards.
“Ben Jordan and Jacob Layne competed at a high enough level for us to be able to compete,” Webb said. “But it wasn’t consistent across the board. Whoever comes into the game has to compete and be ready to play no matter if you make a mistake.”
Dalton Brown scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds. Dalton Brown and Hayden Roe scored three points each and Dalton Thornsberry, Chase Hanshaw and Jacob Nunley each had two points.
West Carter had 16 turnovers, 14 of which Rowan County forced. Rowan County set back in their zone and at times frustrated the Comets when they were looking for open shots.
“We weren’t patient enough against their zone to get a good look at the rim,” Webb said. “We would make one or two passes and try to force it into the interior and shoot a contested shot. You have to get the zone to move side-to-side a couple of times to loosen it up to find an opening to get a higher percentage shot and we didn’t do that. It was an ugly game on our side but we’ll get better.”
West Carter had its home opener Tuesday night against one of the top teams in the 15th Region in Sheldon Clark. They will travel to Fleming County Saturday night to take part in the EKC Tournament.
“We’re making progress,” Webb said. “We’re playing some very good teams early in our schedule. Our guys are getting tested early so we’ll see what they’re made of.”
Mackenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.